She was the world’s best female paraglider, defying the odds to compete for the world champion title. However, when German national team member Ewa Wisnierska became engulfed in a massive, violent thunderstorm in the Australian savanna. But do you know what happened when the paraglider Ewa Wisnierska flew right into a storm cloud?
Ewa Winierska, a German paraglider caught in a thunderstorm and sucked up by a cumulonimbus cloud to an altitude of 10.000m. She survived -50*C temperatures and extreme oxygen deprivation at heights greater than Mount Everest.
Ewa Winierska’s Miracle
It was the World Paragliding Championship that year, held in Manilla, New South Wales. Two hundred people from all over the world took part. A few weeks earlier, some of the gliders took part in a practice run, and that’s when Ewa Winierska, a 35-year-old German paraglider pilot, witnessed something unbelievable. She made it through a storm cell that lifted her higher than Mount Everest.
Ewa should have been killed. She was knocked out for 40 minutes and exposed to temperatures as low as minus 50 degrees. To tell the world about it, Ewa survived, covered in ice and about 5 kilometers above the ground. Ewa Sucked Into Storm and Lives to Tell made international headlines, and a TV documentary called Miracle in the Storm aired. (Source: The Sydney Morning Herald)
What were Her Chances of Survival?
Wisnierska was sucked into the violent storm while training for the upcoming Paragliding World Championships. She regained consciousness up to an hour later in mid-air.
From the theory, I knew the chances to survive are almost zero, I knew I can only have luck, I can’t do anything – and I got it. I wanted to fly around the clouds but I got sucked 20 meters per second up into it and started to spiral. After 40 minutes or an hour, I woke up and I was 6900 meters. I was still flying but I realized I didn’t have the brakes in my hand. I saw my hands and the gloves were frozen, and I didn’t have the brakes, and the glider was still flying on its own. I was thinking I can’t do anything so I only have to wait and hope that the clouds were bringing me out somewhere. And then I woke up and was thinking I was maybe unconscious for one minute. I didn’t know I was unconscious for so long.Ewa Wisnierska, Professional Paraglider
Wisnierska’s survival story was mind-blowing, according to Godfrey Wenness, president of the Manilla Sky Sailors club and organizer of the upcoming Paragliding World Championship.
It’s like winning Lotto 10 times in a row, noting that the previous altitude survival record for a paraglider was 24,000 feet. Wisnierska flew underneath a storm cloud and got sucked up to 30,000 feet. She was unconscious for about half an hour. She regained consciousness at 20,000 feet and then flew down and landed safely. She was covered in ice. She suffered from severe frostbite. The temperature at that altitude was about minus 50 degrees. It’s higher than Mount Everest.Godfrey Wenness, President of the Manilla Sky Sailors Club and Organizer of the Paragliding World Championship.
Her injuries, according to Mr. Wenness, were severe. (Source: The Sydney Morning Herald)
Image from Imgur